How to Respond to Your Children when Your Marriage is Rocked by Infidelity, Fear, Threats of Divorce or an Emotional Crisis

It is prudent and wise to think about your children when your marriage suffers.

Because children know.

They may not know the facts (and you try not to ‘tell’) but they know something is wrong, terribly wrong.

The feel it.

They sense it.

There is a change in the family ‘atmosphere’ and they pick up on it.

A toddler picks up on it.

An infant picks up on it, as much as you want to think,”they are too young.”

Growing up we eventually learn to tune out the unpleasantness of our family atmosphere, but a child who is aware and emotionally healthy, knows.

So when you experience the dread, the fear and the terror of your marital crisis, that fear is passed to the next generation – who must learn to respond to it.

Sidebar: I’m not lambasting parents, excusing a child’s behavior or saying that “bad” parents create “bad” children – a hangover from Freudian days and genetic determinism.

A family is a system in which all are interconnected – like it or not.

It’s nature’s way.

It’s how we are wired.

Often the crapola hits the fan with an early adolescent.

Why?

This adolescent knows and, in one way or another, will tell you they don’t like it.

Pay attention! This child is offering you a gift!

Here’s a recent Case Study which illustrates the above.

Steve has generously offered to share his story and I offer my response.

Good morning Bob,
You and I did some ‘one on one’ coaching for a few months earlier this year – I just wanted to drop you a note and say thank you. While it didn’t save my marriage it most certainly put me on a path to recovery. I feel 1000 times better than when we first started working together. I have stopped feeling any and all negative thoughts about her affair and our relationship – there is literally no more anger in my heart towards her or her affair partner and I really believe it was your coaching (along with all your other material) that helped me get there so much more quickly than I could ever have gotten on my own (if ever).

I did want to ask a question of you if you don’t mind. You may not remember our situation as you deal with thousands of them but in a nutshell, her affair continues to this day and while she says she wants a divorce, as of today she still hasn’t actually filed or given me any indication of when she might. Our home is pretty low stress as I don’t engage in relationship topics at all and it is basically like a stranger lives in my house. It is really not bothering me at all but my kids are starting to exhibit some behavior that concerns me that makes me feel they could use some help in coping with what has to look like a very strange relationship to them. In early June my wife and I sat them down and acknowledged we were having some issues in our relationship and while there were no immediate plans to divorce, that this was a distinct possibility. I also subsequently learned that my 13 year old daughter was in fact aware that my wife was having an affair. So my question is – do you have anyone in (my) area that you could comfortably recommend as a resource for my kids? Wanted to get them into some kind of family therapy where they could get some help working through whatever issues they are feeling without having to try and address them with their mom and dad (if they either don’t feel comfortable and/or we wouldn’t do a great job with it).

Thanks for any guidance you can provide and thanks again for helping me through an incredibly difficult time.

Hi Steve,

Good hearing from you. And, yes I do remember you and your situation.

I personally don’t know of any good family therapists in your area. I recommend you talk to people and see if anyone would refer a therapist. Or, if not that, I recommend you start with a therapist who is member of AAMFT. A good family therapist will want you and your wife in a session as well. Set up an appointment and see if you are comfortable with that therapist. If not, move on to the next one.

But, here’s what I want to bring up…

I surmise that your children are feeling (at an unconscious level) the tension (unresolved) between you and your wife- most likely the unresolved situation and tension your wife is experiencing. (She seems stuck, and your children fear for her…and the marriage. And a 13 year old is highly vulnerable to the actions of the parent of the same sex.)

It seems to be a relational law that when parents can’t resolve the tension (anxiety, fear, etc.) it can and usually does move to the next generation.

It may be best to confront your wife with this issue. (I know, she will probably do with you what she has always done, but it might be a beginning point for you to put closure on the tension. (I truly hate to say this, but the D word probably needs to be brought front and center.)

I hope this is helpful.

The best,
Bob

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

I Went over the Edge and Anger Became Rage

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Chat Transcript of the Q & A

Glad you are here. Feel free to add your questions or comments.

3:00 PM

steve (to All):

yes –

3:00 PM

[ Waiting for name ] (to All):

no

3:01 PM

Helene (to All):

YEs

3:02 PM

Debbie (to All):

no

3:02 PM

Helene (to All):

Letting go when you know its over?

3:02 PM

Steve A (to All):

Same here…

3:14 PM

Steve A (to All):

no no…let it out

3:18 PM

Steve A (to All):

Sure…

3:18 PM

Steve A (to All):

sorry audio…

3:19 PM

Char (to All):

would he see her today

3:20 PM

Char (to All):

at work

3:20 PM

Char (to All):

wonder how long it will go on

3:20 PM

Char (to All):

yes

3:22 PM

Mari (to All):

you said that affairs aren’t about Love, but they’ve lived together for a year and a half. is that different from other affairs?

3:24 PM

Debbie (to All):

yes

3:24 PM

John (to All):

This morning I wondered when she will figure out and be able to tell me why she did it

3:25 PM

Mari (to All):

it just feels different because they aren’t hiding it. He’s been trying to divorce for a year and a half.

3:27 PM

Mari (to All):

he’s been saying he wants a divorce but he wants it uncontested

3:27 PM

Mari (to All):

can’t talk now.

3:27 PM

Steve A (to All):

Sorry…microphone not working 4me. D Day =~100 days. We spoke briefly a couple of weeks ago. I said I was “mean texting” and losing my temper towards my cheating wife (3 young daughters), living separately. I can’t recall your exact words but to the effect of “take care yourself, ignore her”. That worked 23 out of every 24 hours. Well…I caught the two of them walking out of her office together. I lost it, punched the OG, he tried to run me over with his car and now my wife had attorney send me “cease and desist” anything but kids schedules. Hoping that was rock bottom and today is first day of the rest of my life. Bottom line, I went over the edge and let anger become rage.

3:27 PM

Mari (to All):

he just finally filed a few weeks ago

3:28 PM

Alex W (to All):

My W and have been separated for a year while she’s in Affair. Now she wants a divorce. You said 95% don’t work. What do I do?

3:29 PM

Steve A (to All):

Thank you

3:30 PM

Alex W (to All):

That I don’t want to divorce

3:31 PM

Helene (to All):

Thank you!

3:31 PM

Debbie (to All):

thank you

3:31 PM

Kathy (to All):

thank you

3:31 PM

Debbie (to All):

bye

Posted in Q & A | Leave a comment

My Spouse Refuses to Work on Rebuilding the Marriage

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Chat Transcript of the Q & A

Glad you are here. Feel free to add your questions or comments.

3:00 PM

Rob (to Organizers):

my husband had an emotional affair that I found out about about 18 months ago. he moved out and is back home

3:00 PM

Rob (to Organizers):

but doesn’t seem to be doing the work. I don’t know what else to fo

3:01 PM

Rob (to Organizers):

we need to move forward and repair

3:02 PM

Rob (to Organizers):

I can talk if you’d like

3:20 PM

Char (to All):

my husband interacts with other women via text, etc.

3:20 PM

Avril (to All):

My husband had an affair that he ended. He duped my son and I and left his belongings at our home while saying he was going on a trip. We then saw him on social media posting about a lovely girl that he is living with in another country. I think we are done.

3:20 PM

Char (to All):

when I questioned him in the past he acted like I had insecurity issues

3:21 PM

Char (to All):

I found the text this weekend and actually took pictures

3:21 PM

Char (to All):

he denied any interaction until I told him about the pictures of his text.

3:21 PM

Char (to All):

How do I respond to this activity?

3:21 PM

Char (to All):

Im at work

3:21 PM

Char (to All):

he would never allow me to interact with men

3:22 PM

Char (to All):

yes

3:23 PM

Patrick R (to Presenter):

My ex left 3.5 years ago. Left me and created a new life with a married man. I raised her son and he is now in college. The two of us started therapy about a yer ago. She left therapy due to her business. We have had contact and now she would like to resume counseling. I have spent my time working on my issues and not sure about what I want.

3:24 PM

Char (to All):

sounds great

3:25 PM

Char (to All):

this has happened more than once – he says that I dont trust him and that he has done nothing wrong

3:25 PM

Char (to All):

yes but there seems to be more – his text one time asked a woman to spend the night

3:27 PM

Patrick R (to Presenter):

Yes!

3:32 PM

Char (to All):

thank you

Posted in Q & A | Leave a comment

He Tells Me He Loves me AND HER

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Chat Transcript of the Q & A

Glad you are here. Feel free to add your questions or comments.

2:56 PM

Todd (to All):

I know you’ve answered and spoke before but today just literally 20 minutes ago after 2-3 weeks ok it hit me he may of asked her but she didn’t say no instead made her response ok. Never may of verbally said it I’ll never know but she was ok with being there and don’t know how to deal with that now. I was reading one of your emails sent and it just triggered it off in me about how the guy asked and says it’s my problem she couldn’t say no not his and don’t know how to deal with that today right now. The day was fine now I’m anxious and all torn up so any suggestions on what I can do knowing she said ok?

3:00 PM

Irina (PRIVATE):

I purchased the eBook but did not get any instructions how to download yet.

3:00 PM

Todd (to All):

yes

3:00 PM

Kathy (to All):

yes

3:01 PM

Irina (PRIVATE):

YES

3:01 PM

Tom Swan (to All):

yes

3:04 PM

Beth (to Organizers):

what is your opinion on limerence? how long does it last?

3:07 PM

Beth (PRIVATE):

yes

3:08 PM

Carla (to Presenter):

I have been married 38 years. Four years ago my husband began an emotional affair with a woman half his age (31 at the time) who had been a student of his. Three years ago he filed for divorce but then did not move the process forward. Two years ago he moved in with his affair partner at her house in Long Island, New York. One year ago (August 2016) he showed up at my door saying he wanted to work on our marriage and come home. However, since that time, he has gone back and forth every few weeks between our house and his affair partner’s house, saying he didn’t know what to do. Most recently, he showed up in mid-July saying he wanted to work on our marriage and stayed 12 weeks. He just returned to his affair partner, however, saying he wanted to move forward with our divorce. Today I tried to talk with him and he was angry at me, said he did not want to talk, and hung up the phone on me. I have tried to be patient because of our long-term marriage and thinking he is having a mid life crisis, but think it is time to give up. I want to move ahead with my life but am very sad that he does not seem to want our marriage. Any suggestions for how I can stop having feelings for him and get my life in order?

3:08 PM

Beth (PRIVATE):

yes

3:12 PM

Elena (to All):

I found out in June my husband had been having an affair since January. He told me he ended it and we went to marriage counseling and I thought things were getting better. I found out the begnning of October he had never cut off contact with her and had at least been in phone contact with her. He told me he had feelings for her and wasn’t sure what he wanted. Two weeks later he told me he needed to stay somewhere else and figure out what he wanted to do. She is moving here this weekend, she had been living about 45 minutes away, and he plans to move in with her. She left her husband for my husband about the time I found out he was still in contact with her. However he tells me nothing is final and he loves me and his feelings for me haven’t changed. He came to the house last night and hugged my crying saying he misses me. But he won’t change his mind about moving in with her this weekend. We have been married 21 years togehter for 24. We have 3 children. I feel his affair is a combo of 1 and 4. I don’t know what to do at this point. I don’t understand how he says he loves me and misses me but is willing to lose me to be with her and thinks hes so in love with her.

3:22 PM

Elena (to All):

yes

3:29 PM

Irina (PRIVATE):

Hearing this brings back memories – very PTSD type suff

Posted in Q & A | 1 Comment

When Will He Get Out of the Affair Fog?

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Chat Transcript of the Q & A

Glad you are here. Feel free to add your questions or comments.

2:44 PM

To All:

If you are early and have a question, feel free to type in question here.

2:55 PM

Todd (to All):

My question is how to deal with the denial that the person I’m with actually did this since it’s so far from whom I have been married to all these years and deal with no matter if we can stay together that no matter these horrible acts happened and can’t ever be taken away no matter know how much is shown or said about now I’m the person she wants to be with

3:03 PM

steve (to All):

yes

3:03 PM

lilly (to All):

yes

3:03 PM

lily (to All):

yes

3:03 PM

John (to All):

yes

3:04 PM

Todd (to All):

yes it is

3:04 PM

Beth (to All):

how long does it take for affair fog to lift after ending affair

3:04 PM

Todd (to All):

right

3:06 PM

Todd (to All):

I guess when I look at her I see her with him doing when she tries to be with me or touch me I see her doing that with him as what she wanted that’s what triggers me

3:10 PM

Beth (to All):

yes

3:16 PM

Tara (to All):

I am struggling to make any kind of peace with my marriage possibly finally ending – after 4 years of living separately. We have tried to reconcile and at times have done well – but he has gone back to the affair partner again and again. Last Dec. we found out she was pregnant and there is now a baby. We have been together for almost 26 years and have a 9 year old daughter. I am just not ok with this whole situation, and feel like I can’t move past me trying to “fix” the situation and end the destruction he has created. I feel very judged for standing by my marriage.

3:20 PM

John (to All):

My wife had an affair with her then boss in 2009. I stumbled on evidence to in May, confronted her and she eventually admitted it. Been in marriage counseling for 6 weeks. yesterday the counselor told me that I likely won’t get answers to all my questions and I need to start moving forward. Told her (counselor) that it feels like she’s trying to hurry my healing. how do I get them both to understand that we need to repair the affair damage before I can work on general marriage issues?

3:21 PM

Leah (to All):

what are signs that affair is ending and spouse moving back to marriage? we don’t talk of his ongoing affair and I sense a change but not sure what to look for

3:21 PM

Beth (to All):

can’t hear you dr.

3:21 PM

lily (to All):

cant hear either

3:21 PM

Todd (to All):

sound is gone

3:22 PM

Sue (PRIVATE):

me either

3:22 PM

Leah (to All):

yes

3:22 PM

lilly (to All):

yes

3:22 PM

lily (to All):

yes

3:22 PM

Passi (to All):

yes

3:22 PM

John (to All):

yes

3:23 PM

Tara (to All):

I am struggling to make any kind of peace with my marriage possibly finally ending – after 4 years of living separately. We have tried to reconcile and at times have done well – but he has gone back to the affair partner again and again. Last Dec. we found out she was pregnant and there is now a baby. We have been together for almost 26 years and have a 9 year old daughter. I am just not ok with this whole situation, and feel like I can’t move past me trying to “fix” the situation and end the destruction he has created. I feel very judged for standing by my marriage.

3:23 PM

John (to All):

am I muted I think

3:28 PM

Bridgette (to All):

horrible echo

Posted in Q & A | Leave a comment

Should I Confront my Cheating Spouse’s Enabling Friends?

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Chat Transcript of the Q & A

Glad you are here. Feel free to add your questions or comments.

2:51 PM

To All:

If you are early and have a question, feel free to enter it here…

3:00 PM

steve (to All):

yes

3:00 PM

Beth (to All):

yes

3:00 PM

Bonnie (to All):

yes

3:00 PM

Gen (to All):

yes

3:02 PM

Beth (to All):

my husband told me that he wants to end work emotional affair but doesn’t want to hurt her feelings or her “not like her’ AFFAIR FOG?

3:03 PM

Gen (to All):

my husband came back after 3 months of no silence after my affair and we spent several days together. however, he kept saying that our marriage is over, to not talk about the problems and see where it goes, and that he misses me. but he also talks about how he’s seeing other people. there’s one girl in particular that I was concerned about and found that he was talking a lot to her while he’s been with me. I really wanted to work things out and was transparent with him but his anger

3:04 PM

Beth (to All):

YES

3:04 PM

Gen (to All):

is is preventing us to communicate. what should I do? I feel like the other woman and he’s giving me mixed signals

3:05 PM

Beth (to All):

YES

3:07 PM

Gen (to All):

he keeps saying that we’re divorced and I have no right to look into this.

3:07 PM

Beth (PRIVATE):

he told me yesterday he has tried to end it a couple of times. my guess is he is high on emotion and yes worries about her.

3:07 PM

Beth (PRIVATE):

yes

3:07 PM

Beth (PRIVATE):

not in reality

3:09 PM

Gen (to All):

yes

3:10 PM

Gen (to All):

it’s not allowing me to talk

3:10 PM

Gen (to All):

yes

3:10 PM

Gen (to All):

but I really wanted to work it out

3:12 PM

Gen (to All):

right now we’re not talking

3:12 PM

Gen (to All):

I told him that I can’t lose my self respect and dignity because he’s been lying to me this entire month and he told me to never come around

3:15 PM

Gen (to All):

should I just give him space

3:15 PM

lilly (to All):

How do I handle the additional betrayers? Those who supported my husband affair through keeping of secret & lies, using their phones, apartments to meet/hook up w/AP. He continues his relationship with these individuals as if nothing happened. I have tried to put boundaries in place

3:15 PM

Steve (to Presenter):

I’m on the other side of “Gen”, i.e. wife affair with boss, D Day + 10 weeks. Like Gen’s husband, I’m full of anger towards her. She keeps saying “I need time and space”. I bring up “steps to recovery” and she refuses to go there, i.e. share passwords, send “its over” message, answer questions I have. She doesn’t give me any hints positive or negative.

3:16 PM

steve (to All):

Same question as Lilly – friends of my wife not friends of the marriage……..

3:16 PM

Steve (to Presenter):

More than likely, I’m pushing her further away with my anger. Going in opposite directions and I’ve even started dating. While I feel liberated in many respects, after the affair I just “can’t be myself” around her anymore.

3:17 PM

lilly (to All):

sure

3:24 PM

Kaatjie (PRIVATE):

My husband has shown great remorse, but affair was 2.5 years long with great lengths and lies to keep deception. other women was my nanny and in my house every day. i get triggered by so manny things every day. things in my house that she touched. pictures of my kids at the age that it happened. when my husband becomes distant I feel like I am going nuts. 2 years post d day. how do i get sane. i feel like i will not ever trust anyone again

3:27 PM

Bridgette (to All):

no answer would be good enough lilly

3:32 PM

Carla (to Presenter):

Could the process you just described for managing triggers also be used by the spouse who is having the affair when he thinks negative thoughts about the marriage?

3:33 PM

tami (to All):

Thank you, aways learn something.

3:33 PM

Kathy (to All):

thank you

Posted in Q & A | 2 Comments

What Does Withholding Sex Mean?

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Chat Transcript of the Q & A

Glad you are here. Feel free to add your questions or comments.

3:02 PM

steve (to All):

YES

3:02 PM

Mike P. (to All):

Yes

3:02 PM

Mari (to All):

yes

3:05 PM

John (to All):

I have asked a question before. my wife has been emotionally shut down for 2.5 year. she has now admitted she does not want to ever have sex with me again, she has had an affair

3:06 PM

John (to All):

will her feeling change?

3:06 PM

John (to All):

we are in counselling together

3:07 PM

John (to All):

she said she had sex with me when she did not want to, yes she is angry and she always said yes when she meant no

3:07 PM

John (to All):

I can not talk tonight

3:07 PM

Nat Collard (to All):

hi my husband had 2 year affair been over for 2 years he said meant nothing but it was 2 years how can I believe it wasn’t serious he says he always wanted to stay with me and family

3:08 PM

Kim (to Organizers):

My husband is having ungoing affair w/ co-worker. We are separated but his primary relationship is now his affair partner. We are connecting but I think he is on the fence. I don’t know what to do as I feel by having contact w/ him am I enabling him to stay in the affair?

3:09 PM

John (to All):

she is angry, no abuse in history

3:09 PM

Nat Collard (to All):

when ukjujjujtnnjjjunnujjjjn

3:09 PM

John (to All):

thank you, that is helpful

3:10 PM

Alex W (to All):

How to deal with W who moved out 9 months ago, continues an affair )part time) and says she’s never coming back and yet not talking about or filing for divorce?

3:11 PM

Double (to All):

I gave my cheating husband some boundaries and he did not abide by them. I had let him come home on the understanding that he would not cheat again. He went on a vacation and is now cheating and plannig to stay in another country. He doesn’t know that I know. So I want to know how to deal with it.

3:12 PM

Nat Collard (to All):

yes

3:13 PM

Nat Collard (to All):

he was working away and we had lost everything

3:13 PM

Nat Collard (to All):

he said she was opposite to me

3:14 PM

Nat Collard (to All):

he is angry with me coz I didn’t keep house crust enough

3:15 PM

Nat Collard (to All):

yes

3:15 PM

Nat Collard (to All):

yes

3:15 PM

Todd (to All):

what do you do with the her saying it wasn’t intimate or attraction to be able to deal with the affair although it’s been identified as emotional needs being met I still feel there was intimacy for her to the guy she was going to

3:16 PM

Nat Collard (to All):

yes he is that

3:16 PM

Nat Collard (to All):

he cheated on his first wife too

3:16 PM

Nat Collard (to All):

yes when he lost everything

3:16 PM

Nat Collard (to All):

financially

3:17 PM

Nat Collard (to All):

we have lost everything

3:17 PM

Ellen (to All):

I read How to Break Free from the Affair but my husband could be type 2 or type 3 or even type 7. I’m not new to the infidelity game (we are in our ’60’s but I’m trying to determine what the future holds. Travels internationally all the time. I found about cheating six years ago. Just found out it didn’t stop.

3:17 PM

Nat Collard (to All):

is that coincidence 2 x family

3:18 PM

Ellen (to All):

I’m trying to apply the princples in the book but don’t know how

3:19 PM

Ellen (to All):

Yes

3:21 PM

Mary (to All):

There are no predictable patterns to my spouses behavior. My situation is similar to Ellen’s. what is awful is the day to day when he is home, very angry many days. ok other days.

3:31 PM

Double (to All):

Thank you.

Posted in Q & A | Leave a comment

I’m Tired of Trying to Save the Marriage by being a Better Person

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Chat Transcript of the Q & A

Glad you are here. Feel free to add your questions or comments.

2:59 PM

Todd (to All):

so when do you know it’s time to give up and if so should you feel guilty on your part because your not the perfect spouse

3:00 PM

John (to All):

yes

3:00 PM

Dia (to All):

yes

3:00 PM

Elena (to All):

yes

3:00 PM

Betty (to All):

yes

3:03 PM

John (to All):

my wife and I are now having couples counselling after her being emotionally closed down totally for 2 years. currently my wife will accept no responsibility for anything she has done (including an affair) today she says she has no feelings and because of this no remorse. the lack of remorse and taking responsibility is what I find hard

3:04 PM

Todd (to All):

you can try but hasn’t worked in past

3:04 PM

Todd (to All):

yes

3:04 PM

Todd (to All):

yes

3:04 PM

Todd (to All):

it asked but won’t let me answer

3:05 PM

AJ (to All):

I am working on my marriage and my relationship with my spouse everyday. My wife has said that our relationship will be ending in divorse. Any tips to help people deal with the everyday interaction even though that is the feelings of your spouse?

3:06 PM

Todd (to All):

ok

3:07 PM

John (to All):

yes

3:07 PM

Dia (PRIVATE):

I feel stuck by my own fear. He fooled me into thinking there was hope and then he started another affair but lied about it. I even look at online dating and I am afraid. I am scared of losing my home and scared of confronting him. So it’s fear for me. He has moved in with his second AP and is pretending that he is on his own, so that I can help him with things he wants. I am scared and I want to be brave. He seems to be having a mid life crisis.

3:07 PM

Elena (to All):

When husband tells you he feels resentment towards you because he has felt emotionally neglected (lack of sex) and thats how his affair ensued. He feels guilt over it but has not come home after 3 months. He is fearful nothing will change. What can I do/say to encourage him to even try?

3:14 PM

AJ (to All):

she is not

3:14 PM

AJ (to All):

yes

3:14 PM

AJ (to All):

yes

3:15 PM

Zha (to All):

my husband had an Internet affair almost 3 years ago. I am having trouble getting over because he still wants to have sexual experiences with other woman – strip club for example. How do I deal with this?

3:16 PM

Troy (to All):

My wife is telling me she wants out of our marriage. I discovered she has someone (a man) she is lunching with, but is texting him at night and on weekends. We went to one therapy appointment, and she’s deciding on if she wants to give it a chance and do a weekend intensive session. She acts normally around our kids and with me in front of the kids, but is very cold with just me. She asked for time and space, which I’m trying to grant, but I still want her to know I care. She has a friend sort of encouraging her. How can I get through to her to open her eyes and get her to counseling. The therapist said he could see it stirring in her mind as he encouraged her to do counseling. How much time should I give to ask about counseling again? I don’t want to over do it.

3:18 PM

Betty (to All):

I have a a lot of resentment towards the other woman who is someone I know. how to I get pass the angry neglect thoughts and how I want to cuss her out and call her all kinds of ugly names. and I already had words with him the night he left after I caught him at her house the second time. there a lot of history with her him and me. I guess I never understood is how can a person feel that they have the right to interfere in a relationship?

3:22 PM

Dia (to All):

For AJ – could he say he deserves better?

3:25 PM

Zha (to All):

how do I injure the mic?

3:25 PM

Zha (to All):

How do i unmute

3:26 PM

Julie P (to All):

Click the red mic

3:28 PM

Zha (to All):

I can’t unmute!

3:30 PM

Dia (to All):

Thank you for doing these sessions. I feel less alone, just from showing up.

3:31 PM

Elena (to All):

thank you

3:32 PM

Gabor (to All):

thank you

3:32 PM

Kathy (to All):

thank you

3:32 PM

tami (to All):

Thank you

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He Feels Obligated to be with Me and I Hate it

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Chat Transcript of the Q & A

Glad you are here. Feel free to add your questions or comments.

3:00 PM

Bridgette (to All):

yes

3:00 PM

tami (to All):

yes

3:00 PM

Chris (to All):

yes

3:00 PM

Mary (to All):

yes! hi, Dr H – Mary checking in. h

3:00 PM

Simon (to All):

yes

3:00 PM

John (to All):

yes

3:01 PM

Bonnie (to All):

hi from Bonnie

3:03 PM

Mary (to All):

Spouse is NOT communicating about affair (now year 2) but he is home more, and doing tasks he enjoys around the house. I see this as a good sign, perhaps affair is waning? however, he is still increasingly critical and verbally abusive. I am staying “neutral” hoping this too shall pass!

3:03 PM

Chris (to All):

what should you do if you really feel that your spouse is not following their heart by choosing their affair parter and staying with you because it’s the right thing to do?

3:03 PM

Ron (to All):

my wife has told me that I do not deserve to have sex with her. that I’ve crossed lines with her sexually. I cheated on her. now she is cheating on me.

3:04 PM

Mike B (to All):

What if your wife is showing signs of styles of affairs #4 and #6

3:04 PM

Ron (to All):

I am wondering what I should do?

3:06 PM

Mary (to All):

I appreciate the advice!

3:06 PM

Ron (to All):

and are there any exercises I can do in order to control all the negative self-talk that then makes me want to lash out verbally at my wife?

3:07 PM

Chris (to All):

yes

3:08 PM

Ron (to All):

what I mean is that all the fear of losing my wife, all the jealousy of thinking about the other man/men has a way of taking control of everything else I can think about.

3:08 PM

bill (to All):

wife & i r separated 2 1/2 months, former coworker was emotional affair partner. he has since taken another job. since then wife has been much more agreeable, initiating contact, offering help in many ways but still firm on wanting divorce if pressed. her actions r definitely pointing in a different direction last few weeks….I’m tiring of it all, but feel a breakthru might be near w/patience… how much more patience is the question since we r very much in a delicate position right now. any suggestions?

3:18 PM

Ron (to All):

that is accurate

3:19 PM

Chris (to All):

listen to their reasoning

3:19 PM

Bridgette (to All):

??

3:19 PM

Chris (to All):

empathy

3:20 PM

Chris (to All):

two wrongs don’t make a right

3:20 PM

Mary (to All):

revenge affair sounds destructive

3:20 PM

bill (to All):

listen and validate if she’s willing to talk

3:20 PM

Laura (to All):

some of my husbands justifications were revenge but not because I had an affair but because of resentments he stored up and held against me

3:20 PM

Ron (to All):

I’d say there is more to it than that but there is definitely an element of revenge.

3:20 PM

tami (to All):

those in glass houses shouldnt throw stones But revenge affairs are NEVER the answer.

3:21 PM

Ron (to All):

thank you doctor

3:21 PM

Ron (to All):

her first affair was with one of my friends so defI’m Neely revenge

3:21 PM

Ron (to All):

definitely

3:25 PM

bill (to All):

yes, thank u!

3:26 PM

Ron (to All):

your comments to everyone else also help me in my thinking. thank you.

3:27 PM

Laura (to All):

sounds like it..he is like a clam

3:27 PM

Laura (to All):

soft on he outside will cut off his nose despite his face

3:27 PM

tami (to All):

great comments on resentment thank you

3:27 PM

Elena (to All):

I discovered my husband’s emotional affair on June 26th. Devastated, I asked him to leave. He has since moved in with his affair partner and I am sure his affair in now physical. He has sat down with me, had a discussion and told me he loves me but no longer in love with me. He is confused, felt a disconnect for a while due to me not being as affectioate as I used to be but asked that I not seek a divorce yet and give him time to think. It has been 3 months and I cannot take it anymore. What should i do?

3:27 PM

Chris (to All):

yes I feel that way about my husbands affair too. so much resentment toward me

3:29 PM

Elena (to All):

children…

3:31 PM

tami (to All):

thanks again Dr. Bob

3:31 PM

Bridgette (to All):

ty

3:31 PM

bill (to All):

thanks

3:31 PM

Chris (to All):

ty

3:31 PM

Laura (to All):

thank u

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Cheating Husband’s Emotional Attachment to Sister

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Chat Transcript of the Q & A

Glad you are here. Feel free to add your questions or comments.

3:00 PM

AJ (to All):

yes

3:00 PM

Bridgette (to All):

yes

3:01 PM

Chris (to All):

yes

3:02 PM

Scott (to All):

dr. bob, do you have a professional opinion on how much more difficult it is in dealing with recovery from an affair with a spouse recently diagnosed with adult add, bi-polar and probably borderline personality disorder? is the risk of relapse much higher when these conditions are present? TU

3:02 PM

Todd (to All):

so since sex is usually what an affair is about how do you rekindle and try and share sex with your partner now without the fears of you doing same thing they searched for and help them remember their experience

3:04 PM

Chris (to All):

my husband claims it was just a sexual affair but the email I found and texts that I saw tell a different story. plus she was a family friend. hard to believe he is over her? I do I trust again? how do I know he isn’t still thinking about her?

3:04 PM

Todd (to All):

I guess question is how to make it special again between the two of us not just using the other like was what was being done in the affair

3:06 PM

steve (to All):

Been patiently ‘charging neutral’ for months without any noticeable changes in my wife’s behavior. I know the affair has continued and she has been seeing a therapist on her own and has committed to making a decision by the end of the year if she wants to re-commit to our marriage. I recently found a draft of a letter she is writing to ask me for a divorce. She doesn’t know I saw it and she hasn’t given it to me yet. Should I confront her with it or continue to just let it play out?

3:06 PM

Scott (to All):

yes, that was what i was concerned about.

3:06 PM

Chris (to All):

how do I know he really wants to be with me and not only because divorces are expensive?

3:06 PM

Scott (to All):

tu

3:07 PM

Todd (to All):

yes but a big part of what happens it seems

3:08 PM

Todd (to All):

yes

3:09 PM

Todd (to All):

the trigger is just about I’m afraid now she no longer wants me for that

3:11 PM

Todd (to All):

ok

3:12 PM

Chris (to All):

sure

3:16 PM

Mary (to All):

Mary checking in. My spouse has been showing a few signs of recommitting to our relationship, but is also saying he wants to buy an airline ticket to check on a property in FL (possible hurricane damage) – in the past, he used excuses like this to visit the “other person” in NC. This is making me anxious, and we have had NO dialogue about the affair (two years involvement). I do see signs it may be ending, as he is doing more work around our home. Previously, he said he was moving out. Any thoughts on how I might relieve my suspicions/concerns in th

3:17 PM

Mary (to All):

the absence of any conversations. Zero intimacy in our relationship now – he avoids ANY physical contact, including hugs, touches.

3:27 PM

steve (to All):

Harboring very little – have told her just about everything in a very calm manor. I bought all your stuff

3:28 PM

steve (to All):

Sounds good .

3:30 PM

Mary (to All):

Bob, pls repeat instructions!

3:30 PM

Chris (to All):

Yu!

3:31 PM

Chris (to All):

TU!

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